Milton UMC honored for community missions

June 5, 2024 |

As Milton United Methodist Church, in Jefferson Township, NJ, celebrates its 200th anniversary, two of its community-based missions, the New Hope Food Pantry and the New Hope Thrift Shop, are celebrating their recognition as 2023 Township Non-Profits of the Year. The township Chamber of Commerce awarded them that distinction at a special dinner April 25.

The idea for a Food Pantry developed from humble beginnings in the late 1990s when several Milton UMC members began to work with the township social worker to address the immediate, short-term food emergencies of local residents. The pantry was designed to be a ministry offering food distribution for families in need within the community.

The Milton UMC New Hope Food Pantry now provides food products, including baked and canned goods, groceries, fresh and frozen foods, as well as personal hygiene items, to families in need twice per month. It has grown and developed beyond the local community into one of the premier faith-based food pantries in western Morris County, serving the ongoing needs of dozens of families, along with special Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving holiday baskets, as well as children’s school supplies and backpacks at the beginning of each school year.

In addition to Milton UMC members, the food pantry is also supported by numerous community volunteers, local area churches, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, local businesses and schools as well as individual benefactors. The New Hope Food Pantry is open the first Thursday and third Saturday each month and for on-call emergencies.

As an outgrowth of its success and service to the community, Milton UMC opened the New Hope Thrift Shop. Its purpose is to minister to those in need through donated items. The thrift shop strives to be a steward of the environment through reuse and recycling of donated items, and it seeks to extend God’s love to all both near and far whenever and wherever possible.

Operating out of the church’s original site, the New Hope Thrift Shop provides bargain hunters with gently used clothing and shoes, household and kitchen items, linens, furniture, toys, books, tools, and knickknacks. Staffed by Milton UMC members and community volunteers, the New Hope Thrift Shop is open to the public every week on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

Read about Milton UMC’s history on their website.